Patrick Gleason takes over writing in addition to drawing the adventures of Damian Wayne in “Robin: Son of Batman” #1. Kicking off a storyline titled “Year of Blood,” Gleason pulls double duty and gives readers a meaty introduction to Robin alongside inker Mick Gray, colorist John Kalisz and letterer Tom Napolitano.
Gleason packs a lot of information into “Robin: Son of Batman” #1, giving readers of any familiarity with the heir of Wayne and Al Ghul plenty to absorb. Readers who consumed Gleason’s art tour on “Batman and Robin” will find plenty more depth and development in this story, including the apparent return of Nobody, while less versed readers will find plenty of mystery and intrigue. Every reader will find some charm and appeal in Goliath, whose true personality is only hinted at in this book.
Gleason uses scale as a storytelling device, keeping Damian slender and spritely but seething with ferocity. Adults vary in size and girth, frequently making Damian seem like a caricature of a comic book character. This is the same scale Gleason used throughout his run on “Batman and Robin,” and it continues to work in “Robin: Son of Batman” #1. This choice makes Damian seem smaller, which amplifies his ferocity and determination when measured against a larger world. It also affords Gleason a chance to draw some dynamic panels with Goliath in action. Gray’s inks are solid and emotive throughout the issue, adding shadow and amplifying the emotions in the story. Kalisz’s colors are bold and brash: Robin is RED and YELLOW and GREEN, pure as crayons in a box, and — thanks to Kalisz — the backgrounds and environments have texture and depth.
The creative team in “Robin: Son of Batman” #1 is well-synchronized, filing the pages with fun images, emotive characters and exciting action. Gleason is, perhaps, a bit more verbose at times throughout the issue than “Batman and Robin” scribe Peter J. Tomasi would have been in the same spot, but the end result is certainly worth it. “Robin: Son of Batman” #1 is packed from cover to cover, giving readers a substantial introduction to a corner of the Batman universe set to blossom as Robin explains the “Year of Blood” to Ravi, who serves as a proxy to the readers. It’s a solid, busy read, but a good one, with Patrick Gleason and team’s young Damian Wayne making a good first impression as he sets off to right some wrongs and live up to the expectations of his father, Bruce Wayne.